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Popular memory of the 1920s as the “prosperity decade” obscures troubles on the farm, traditionalists’ anger about moral decline, and growing anxiety in Protestant America about a loss of its traditional cultural and political dominance. Perhaps no organization in the 1920s better exemplified the rejection of social ferment than the Ku Klux Klan. In this largely persuasive if occasionally disorganized account of the Klan’s growth and influence in western Pennsylvania during its heyday, 1922–1925, John Craig reinforces elements of recent Klan scholarship, notably in highlighting the broad base of its membership, while showing how in key respects the rise and fall of Pennsylvania’s “hooded empire” stemmed from its internal blunders and factionalism.
Pennsylvania History is the official journal of the Pennsylvania Historical Association, and copyright remains with PHA as the publisher of this journal.